Latest specifications and directions in relation to catering business issued
under Cap. 599F, which take effect from 16 June to 29 June 2022 (the specified period)

Vaccine Pass and mode of operation

Q1: What is the Vaccine Pass?
A1:

The Vaccine Pass is an important anti-epidemic measure.  It aims to encourage more people to get vaccinated, so as to protect public health while enabling Hong Kong to overcome the pandemic and resume normal life as soon as possible.  Starting from 24 February 2022, all persons aged 12 or above (including staff involved in the operation of the premises) entering or remaining on catering premises or scheduled premises are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before the specified date unless they are exempted.  (The dosage schedule for the Vaccine Pass and the definition of persons under exemption can be found on the following webpage: https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/vaccine-pass.html).  If a person is subject to vaccination requirements under any directions issued pursuant to the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation (Cap. 599F) and the Prevention and Control of Disease (Vaccine Pass) Regulation (Cap. 599L) at the same time, the vaccination requirements under Cap. 599F should prevail.

Q2:

How to present the vaccination record for the purpose of the Vaccine Pass?

A2:

The COVID-19 vaccination record for the purpose of the Vaccine Pass can be presented by any of the following methods:

Local doses:

  1. The QR code of the local vaccination record shown by using the LeaveHomeSafe, iAM Smart or eHealth mobile apps; or
  2. Paper copy or photo (e.g. saved in a mobile phone) of the local vaccination record with the QR code.

Non-local doses/mixed local and non-local doses:

  1. Printed or electronic vaccination record issued by the relevant authorities; or
  2. The QR code of the vaccination record obtained from the port health authorities at control points when inbound travellers declare their non-local vaccination details; and
  3. The QR code of the vaccination record obtained from designated post offices upon completion of declaration of non-local vaccination details.

Timetable for resuming normal

Q3: What are the requirements applicable to catering premises during the specified period?
A3: From 16 June 2022 to 29 June 2022, the specific requirements for catering premises are as follows:

  1. Dine-in service hours can be extended to 11:59 p.m.;
  2. No more than eight persons may be seated together at one table;
  3. The number of persons participating in any one banquet at any one time may not exceed 120; and
  4. Live performances and dancing are not allowed in the premises.

All staff involved in the operation of the premises must meet the vaccination requirements under the Vaccine Pass.  They must undergo a COVID-19 rapid antigen test (RAT) once every three days and obtain a negative result before entering the premises for work.  They are required to keep on their mobile phones a photo of the RAT kit showing a negative test result (marked on the RAT kits with the name of the staff and the date of taking the test) obtained on the relevant work day or on any of the two immediately preceding days for checking by the catering premises operators when reporting to work and for inspection by authorised officers upon request.

Other requirements and restrictions include: a person must wear a mask at any time within any catering premises except when the person is consuming food or drink at a table therein; and all customers must meet the Vaccine Pass requirements and scan the LeaveHomeSafe venue QR code using the LeaveHomeSafe mobile app on their mobile phones/other mobile devices before entering the premises (excluding persons who only order takeaway meals).

Q4: For staff members who have received the third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or are within six months from recovery from COVID-19, are they still required to undergo a RAT once every three days?  Is this requirement only applicable to unvaccinated persons with medical proof?
A4: For staff members involved in the operation of catering premises, regardless of whether they have completed a vaccination course or have recovered from COVID-19 or are holders of a COVID-19 Vaccination Medical Exemption Certificate (medical exemption certificate), they must undergo a RAT for COVID-19 once every three days and obtain a negative result before entering the premises for work.
Q5: How to count the days in conducting a RAT once every three days?
A5:

With effect from 21 April 2022, all staff members involved in the operation of catering premises are required to take a RAT for COVID-19 once every three days. That is to say, on the day when a staff member enters the premises for work (the relevant work day), he/she is required to keep on their mobile phones a photo of the RAT kit showing a negative test result (marked on the RAT kits with the name of the staff and the date of taking the test) obtained on the relevant work day or on any of the two immediately preceding days . He/She should keep the photo of each negative RAT result for three days.

For example, if the staff member is to work on 1 May 2022, he/she can perform a RAT before going to work on 1 May 2022, or on 30 April 2022 or 29 April 2022.  By applying this counting method, authorised officers will not accept it if the staff claims that a RAT will be performed on 2 May 2022 or 3 May 2022.

Q6: Are live performances and dancing activities allowed in catering premises?
A6:

No, live performances and dancing are not permitted in catering premises (including bars/pubs) and clubs/nightclubs during the specified period.

Generally speaking, "live performance" implies that performers and persons present at the same venue simultaneously have the opportunity to meet and interact.  Whether an individual activity constitutes a “live performance” is determined on a case-by-case basis having regard to the arrangement of the activity as a whole, the contact and interaction between the performers and the persons present, the relevant facts and individual circumstances.

If a disc jockey (commonly referred to as a DJ) operating audio equipment is, on his/her own, playing background music inside a DJ room that is separate from the seating area, and there is neither contact nor interaction physically with the persons in the seating area, such act is generally not regarded as a “live performance”.  On the contrary, if the DJ concerned and the persons in the seating area communicate and interact with each other in any form on-site, this may constitute a "live performance".

Q7: May an eligible catering business decide to operate as a bar/pub or karaoke establishment.  Please explain in details.
A7:

A catering premises holding a liquor licence (with bar endorsement) may decide to operate as a bar/pub.  A catering premises with a karaoke establishment permit or a written exemption from application for a karaoke establishment permit (karaoke establishment instrument) issued by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) may choose to operate as a karaoke establishment.  In addition, a catering premises holding both a liquor licence (with bar endorsement) and a karaoke establishment instrument may decide to operate as a bar/pub or karaoke establishment.  The aforementioned premises are the eligible catering business. 

Upon commencement of the specified period, an eligible catering business may decide to operate as a bar/pub or karaoke establishment.  The choice is taken to have been made after the operator has displayed a notice according to specified specifications at the entrance of the premises.

A notice and/or a floor plan in accordance to specified specifications must be displayed in the following scenarios:

  1. Premises choose to operate as bar/pub or karaoke establishment must display the notice 24 hours daily at the entrance of the premises for identifying either as bar/pub or karaoke establishment;
  2. Catering Premises with bar or pub zone and/or karaoke establishment zone must display the notice and the floor plan indicating the location of the bar or pub zone and the location of the karaoke establishment zone 24 hours daily at the entrance of the premises.

Starting from 5:00 a.m. on 16 June 2022, customers are required to present to a photo showing the negative RAT result obtained within 24 hours before entering the relevant bar/pub premises or bar or pub zone area (as appropriates).

The customers shall mark on the RAT testing kit his/her name as well as the date and time of taking the test. He/she shall take a photo of the testing kit (presenting the testing kit is not accepted) and save it in his/her mobile phone for checking by the operators before entering the premises, and for inspection by authorised officers upon request. Besides, person-in-charge of the premises must not allow customers to conduct the RAT on spot in the premises.

If one part of the premises is operated as a bar/pub and the other part as a karaoke establishment, the operator must display at the entrance of the premises a floor plan which meets the specified specifications for differentiating and identifying the “bar/pub zone” and the “karaoke establishment zone” within the premises.  In accordance to the above, relevant premises are required to display the bar or pub zone floor plan at the entrance of the premises, as well as, display such plan near the bar or pub zone, to facilitate the implementation of customers RAT test requirements. The operator shall also comply with other legislations (including the Karaoke Establishments Ordinance (Cap. 573)).  In other words, the “karaoke establishment zone” shown on the floor plan must be the same as the karaoke activity area in the karaoke establishment instrument.

The mode of operation cannot be changed during the specified period once the operator has so decided.  The operator must also comply with the requirements and restrictions (including the maximum number of persons allowed per table/per room) applicable to the relevant mode of operation.

The templates of the relevant notices and the specifications and colour requirements of floor plans of “bar/pub zones” and “karaoke establishment zones” can be downloaded from the thematic webpage of the FEHD via the following links:

COVID-19 vaccination requirements

Q8: Stage three of the Vaccine Pass arrangements will commence on 31 May 2022.  Are customers and staff members required to have received the third dose of a vaccine before entering specified premises such as a catering premises?
A8:

After implementation of stage three of the Vaccine Pass arrangements, customers entering the specified premises (such as a catering premises) or staff remaining on the premises, must comply with the following vaccination requirements:

  1. Ordinary persons:
    1. Received three doses of vaccine; or
    2. Within six months after having received the second dose of vaccine;
  2. Recovered persons:
    1. Received three or two doses of vaccine;

    2. Within six months after recovery;
    3. Within six months after having received the first dose of vaccine after recovery; or

    4. Aged 12 to 17 and received one dose of Comirnaty vaccine;
  3. Inbound travellers: Arrived in Hong Kong within six months and holding the Provisional Vaccine Pass; and
  4. Persons who are verified to be unsuitable to receive vaccination by medical practitioners, and hold the COVID-19 Vaccination Medical Exemption Certificate with QR Code.

Q9: Under the current Vaccine Pass arrangement, if individual citizens present an Exemption Certificate without an encrypted QR code, may the person-in-charge let him/her enter the specified premises?
A9:

No. Starting from May 1, all Exemption Certificates must be issued electronically by doctors via the eHealth System (Subsidies) or the computer system of HA with encrypted QR codes. Exemption Certificates without encrypted QR codes are no longer accepted for the purpose of Vaccine Pass. In the latest Specified Declaration/Information Collection Form for Persons in relation to the Vaccine Pass and “LeaveHomeSafe” requirements, the option of presenting an Exemption Certificate without an encrypted QR code has been removed. Apart from presenting the Exemption Certificate electronically, members of the public may also use the printed Exemption Certificate with an encrypted QR code as the Vaccine Pass.

Q10: If a staff member involved in the operation of the business on the premises had been issued a COVID-19 Vaccination Medical Exemption Certificate (Exemption Certificate) and just expired however, such staff member received one dose of vaccine for the coronavirus disease 2019 but has not received the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine during this specified period, can he go to work? What proof the operator should collect?
A10:

Under this situation, the operator should:-

  1. ensure that such staff member has already made an appointment for receiving the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine within 35 days following the day on which he/she received the first dose, and keeps record of the above appointment;
  2. arrange for such staff member to undergo a PCR test for COVID-19 once every 7 days starting from 15 June 2022 and the sample(s) of the test(s) conducted must be taken through combined nasal and throat swabs which must not be taken by the person being tested, and ensure that such staff member obtain an SMS notification containing the result of the test before 23 June 2022 and the end of every subsequent 7-day period and keep record of each SMS notification for 31 days, until the relevant staff members have received the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine; and
  3. ensure such staff undergoes a COVID-19 rapid antigen test (RAT) once every three days with negative result and obtain a negative result for (ii) and (iii) before entering the premises for work. 
Q11:

Under the existing requirements, can staff members of catering premises adopt regular testing in lieu of COVID-19 vaccination?

A11:

No.  Under the existing requirements, all staff members of catering premises must have fulfilled COVID-19 vaccination requirements of Vaccine Pass Direction .  For persons holding a medical exemption certificate printed with QR code, they are required to undergo a polymerase chain reaction-based nucleic acid (PCR) test for COVID-19 once every seven days, and the sample(s) of the test(s) conducted must be taken through combined nasal and throat swabs (CNTS).  They must obtain a negative test result, and undergoes a COVID-19 rapid antigen test (RAT) once every three days with negative result before entering the premises for work.

Q12:
What supporting document(s) should a recovered person produce?
A12:

A person who has recovered from COVID-19 may download a recovery record QR code from the COVID-19 Electronic Vaccination and Testing Record System, iAM Smart or eHealth (the latest version) mobile apps.  He/She may also carry the following proofs:

For a person infected or recovered in Hong Kong, the relevant proofs of infection or recovery include:

(1)      the SMS, electronic record or paper certificate of a positive PCR test result issued by the Government or a private medical laboratory recognised by the Laboratory Recognition Scheme of the Department of Health (DH);
(2)      the SMS or electronic record issued by the Declaration System for Individuals Tested Positive for COVID-19 Using Rapid Antigen Test of the DH upon successful completion of a declaration;
(3)      the isolation order issued by the DH;
(4)      the discharge letter issued by any public hospital or isolation facility; or
(5)      any other document(s) or electronic record(s) issued by the Government or the Hospital Authority pertaining to his/her recovery status.

For a person infected or recovered outside Hong Kong, the relevant proof of infection or recovery should be the record(s) issued or recognised by the relevant health authorities of the place concerned.

Q13: If staff members have completed a COVID-19 vaccination course overseas, are they considered having fulfilled the latest Vaccine Pass requirements?
A13: If staff members have completed a COVID-19 vaccination course overseas by receiving the recognised vaccine as published on the Government’s COVID-19 thematic website (https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/pdf/list_of_recognised_covid19_vaccines.pdf), they may obtain vaccination record QR codes through declaration of their non-local vaccination records and present to the premises operators the QR codes for local use issued by the Government.  (Details of declaration are available at “FAQs - Non-local COVID-19 Vaccination Record” on the COVID-19 thematic website (https://www.covidvaccine.gov.hk/en/faq).)  At the same time, employers are required to collect and retain the medical exemption certificates of their staff.  Staff members have to make a declaration of the above to the premises operator/employer using the specified form available on the Vaccine Pass thematic website of the FEHD, and employers are required to keep such forms.
Q14: If staff members have not received any vaccines before COVID-19 infection, can they resume work after recovery?  What kind of proofs should the employers collect?
A14:
  1. If staff members are within six months from their recovery, they can resume work with no additional vaccination requirements;
  2. If staff members have recovered more than six months and have not received any vaccines before COVID-19 infection, they are required to receive the first dose before resumption of work; or

  3. If staff members have recovered more than six months and have received one dose of vaccine before COVID-19 infection, they are required to receive the second dose before resumption of work.

Employers are required to collect and retain the recovery records of their staff members.

Q15: Some staff members of catering premises are unfit to receive vaccination because of health reasons.  Are there any exemption arrangements for them?
A15: For staff members of catering premises (including persons supplying their food or drink therein for promotion or selling activities in the catering premises) who are unfit to receive COVID-19 vaccination because of health reasons, employers are required to collect and retain their medical exemption certificates which printed with QR code.  Staff members must use the specified form available on the Vaccine Pass thematic website of the FEHD to make a declaration to employers.  Employers are also required to keep such declarations.  At the same time, staff members have to undergo a PCR test for COVID-19 once every seven days and the samples of the tests must be taken through CNTS.  At present, there are a number of community testing centres and mobile specimen collection stations providing sampling services with CNTS across the territory.  For details, please visit www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/early-testing.html.
Q16: Is the Vaccine Pass applicable to customers who purchase takeaway food or drinks?
A16: Customers who only buy takeaway food or drinks and do not consume them on the catering premises are not required to show their COVID-19 vaccination records to the staff of the premises.
Q17: Under the Vaccine Pass arrangements, are customers aged below 12 and with exemption required to make any declaration?
A17:

For customers who are aged below 12 and not vaccinated, if they enter a catering premises without an accompanying adult, they have to fill in a specified form (available on the COVID-19 thematic website and the FEHD’s Vaccine Pass thematic webpage) and present it to the operator of the catering premises, who must keep the written or electronic record for 31 days. 
The specified form can be downloaded from the following website: https://www.fehd.gov.hk/english/events/covid19/vaccine_bubble_download.html
Customers aged below 12 who enter a catering premises with an accompanying adult need not fill in the specified form.

Q18: How does the Government implement the Vaccine Pass requirements?
A18: The directions for catering premises under Cap. 599F require that pursuant to Cap. 599L, persons visiting specified premises must be vaccinated in the specified manner, or else they are not allowed to enter or stay in the relevant premises.  Operators of these premises who contravene the requirements under the directions are liable on conviction to a fine at level 5 and to imprisonment for six months.  Visitors to these premises who contravene the requirements are liable to a fixed penalty ticket of $5,000 or a fine at level 3.
Q19: How should operators of catering premises implement the Vaccine Pass requirements?
A19: Operators of catering premises must display a notice in the specified format indicating that the premises is subject to active checking of the Vaccine Pass in a prominent position at or near every entrance to the premises.

Operators of catering premises are required to take appropriate measures to inspect the vaccination record, medical exemption certificate or recovery record of a person entering or remaining on the premises in order to ensure that all visitors fulfill the requirements under the Vaccine Pass.  If scanning of the QR code of the relevant record is engaged, the operator of the premises must use the QR Code Verification Scanner mobile app (updated to the latest version (4.3.2 or above)) provided by the Government to scan the relevant QR code and keep the record for 31 days.  For any person whose relevant record does not contain a QR code (e.g. non-local vaccination record) or any child aged under 12 not accompanied by an adult, the operator of the premises must use a specified form to collect the personal particulars of the person (name, contact number, date and time of visit) and keep the record for 31 days.
Q20: Is the Vaccine Pass applicable to staff members of catering premises?
A20: According to the Vaccine Pass Direction issued under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Vaccine Pass) Regulation (Cap. 599L), operators of catering premises are required to inspect the relevant vaccination record, medical exemption certificate or recovery record of a person entering or remaining on the premises to ensure that he/she meets the Vaccine Pass requirements.  Besides, staff members of the catering premises have to abide by the specifications and directions in relation to catering premises issued under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation (Cap. 599F).

Use of QR Code Verification Scanner

Q21: When a customer enters the catering premises, can he/she only use the valid vaccination record stored in the LeaveHomeSafe mobile app for scanning by the QR Code Verification Scanner but without scanning the LeaveHomeSafe venue QR code?
A21:

No.  According to the prevailing directions in relation to catering business under Cap. 599F, the provisions of (1) scanning the LeaveHomeSafe venue QR code using the LeaveHomeSafe mobile app and (2) complying with the requirements in the Vaccine Pass Direction exist in parallel.  Both provisions should be complied with.

When a customer enters the catering premises, he/she should scan the LeaveHomeSafe venue QR code first to obtain the relevant QR code displayed as a blue code with a blue border on a green background for scanning by the QR Code Verification Scanner. If the customer shows the relevant QR code by other means for scanning by the QR Code Verification Scanner, he/she is still required to scan the LeaveHomeSafe venue QR code before he/she is allowed to enter the premises.  Law enforcement officers will issue fixed penalty notices to offenders.

The FEHD also reminds catering premises operators not to let down their guards.  When the operators scan the vaccination record of a customer using the QR Code Verification Scanner, they must check that the customer has scanned the LeaveHomeSafe venue QR code and the relevant QR code is displayed as a blue code with a blue border on a green background.  If the customers have not done so, the operators must remind them that they have to scan the LeaveHomeSafe venue QR code before they are allowed to enter the premises.  This will avoid having to shoulder the consequences by both parties for failure to comply with the relevant directions.
Q22: How can the vaccination record, medical exemption certificate and recovery record of customers be verified when staff members of catering premises are not entitled to check customers’ identity cards?  Will the privacy of customers be infringed?
A22:

The QR Code Verification Scanner mobile app provided by the Government has been updated to the 4.3.2 version or above.  The mobile app can be downloaded from Google Play Store, Apple App Store, Huawei AppGallery and the Vaccine Pass thematic webpage of the FEHD for installation to verify the authenticity of the QR code shown by a customer as a proof that he/she has been vaccinated or is unfit for vaccination.  With proper use of the scanner, operators of catering premises should be able to fulfil the requirement of performing due diligence check under the laws.  The data will be encrypted, masked and hashed to make the relevant information indistinguishable.  As mobile phones and scanners are not able to read the personal data of customers, one does not need to worry about infringing the privacy of customers.  The relevant information will only be stored for 31 days.  Only when the Centre for Health Protection of the DH or the relevant enforcement agents has the need will a one-time password be provided for the premises operator to upload the record to the specified information system of the Government.

If a customer is unable to produce the QR code stored on the LeaveHomeSafe mobile app in his/her mobile phone, he/she may still choose to produce a paper copy or an iAM Smart or eHealth version of his/her vaccination record/medical exemption certificate for checking by the premises operator.  Only when no QR code for vaccination record is available for scanning will the customer be required to fill in the specified form (available on the COVID-19 thematic website and the FEHD’s Vaccine Pass thematic webpage) and submit it to the premises operator, who must keep the written or electronic record for 31 days.

Besides, starting from 19 April 2022, recovered persons may download the recovery record QR code via the COVID-19 Electronic Vaccination and Testing Record System (www.evt.gov.hk).  The QR code is valid for 180 days from the date of recovery.  During the period, they may carry and/or present the recovery record QR code to the enter the specified premises.  Customers may also save both the recovery record QR code and the vaccination record QR code in the LeaveHomeSafe mobile app for presentation where necessary.

Q23: Does the paper recovery record serve the purpose of the Vaccine Pass?
A23: Before obtaining the recovery record QR code and during the transitional period until 30 June 2022, recovered persons may continue to use the relevant proofs of recovery or infection (including discharge letter, SMS/electronic/paper record of positive PCR test results issued by the Government or private laboratories recognised under the Laboratory Recognition Scheme of the DH, SMS/electronic record of completed declarations on the DH’s “Declaration System for individuals tested positive for COVID-19 using Rapid Antigen Test”, isolation order issued by the DH and other recovery records issued by the Government or the Hospital Authority, but excluding photographs showing positive RAT results) to enter Vaccine Pass premises.

After the transitional period, only the recovery record QR code will be accepted.  Apart from electronic records, members of the public may also carry with them paper recovery records printed with a QR code for Vaccine Pass purposes.
Q24: As social distancing measures are relaxing in phases, it leads to an increase in the number of customers.  Are there any measures to enhance the scanning efficiency of the QR Code Verification Scanner mobile app?
A24: If the front camera of the mobile device in use is not sensitive enough, operators of catering premises may consider using a rear camera that has stronger focusing performance and setting up, as needed, several mobile devices for customers to scan their vaccination records at the same time.
Q25: What are the new functions of the latest version of the QR Code Verification Scanner mobile app?
A25:

A function to detect updates automatically is added in the new version of the mobile app.  The persons-in-charge will be alerted in a timely manner of any updates so that they can conduct checks on the QR code in accordance with the latest Vaccine Pass requirements, including whether the recovery record QR code is valid and whether the vaccination record QR code with recovery status incorporated is compliant with the requirement.  There is also an added function to facilitate the persons-in-charge of the premises to register the information of their mobile devices used for the QR Code Verification Scanner mobile app.  Besides, if a QR code is scanned with the same device for twice or above within five minutes, the system will emit an alert tone. 

New scanning log is added to the latest version of the app, which can show the past 12-hour scanning record of the mobile device installed with the QR Code Verification Scanner App. The persons-in-charge of premises subject to active checking are required to download the latest version of the QR Code Verification Scanner mobile app as soon as possible and keep the log record for 31 days.

In addition, the “go online” and “update” alerts are added in the mobile app for automatic detection of the updated version of the Scanner.  The system will require the mobile app to be run with Internet connection at least once in a while (e.g. once every 30 days) to ensure that the version in use is compliant with the prevailing Vaccine Pass requirements.  Starting from the seventh last day before expiry of the validity period, the persons-in-charge of the premises will be prompted to go online when the mobile app is opened.  The mobile app can still be used until the validity period expires.  There is no restriction on the time to be online.  Once online, the validity period will be re-counted and extended.

Q26: If someone promotes mobile phones or mobile devices to catering premises, claiming that they can facilitate the implementation of the Vaccine Pass requirements, what are the points the catering premises operator should pay attention to?
A26: To verify whether the customer meets the prevailing Vaccine Pass requirements, the catering premises operator must use the QR Code Verification Scanner mobile app (updated to the latest version (4.3.2 or above)) developed by the Government to scan the QR codes of vaccination record, medical exemption certificate or recovery record of the customer.  To safeguard network security and privacy, the operator should ensure that the QR Code Verification Scanner mobile app used is genuine and is updated to the latest version.  The operator should download the app directly from the official mobile app stores (i.e. Google, Apple and Huawei), or through the links provided on the FEHD's Vaccine Pass thematic webpage or the relevant government website.

LeaveHomeSafe mobile app

Q27: Some children or elders do not have a smart phone.  How can they comply with the requirement of using the LeaveHomeSafe mobile app which is applicable to catering premises and scheduled premises?
A27: Persons aged under 16 and accompanied by an adult are not required to use the LeaveHomeSafe mobile app or complete the personal information registration form to enter the catering premises, as the accompanying adult has already fulfilled the applicable LeaveHomeSafe requirement.  For persons under the age of 16 without an accompanying adult and persons aged 65 or above, if they wish to enter catering premises and are unable to use the LeaveHomeSafe mobile app, they must register their personal information on the specified forms.
Q28: Are customers ordering takeaways only required to scan the LeaveHomeSafe venue QR code of catering premises?
A28: As customers who only order takeaways are not allowed to take off their masks while waiting on the premises, and their stay at the catering premises will be shorter than that of dine-in patrons, it is acceptable not to require them to scan the LeaveHomeSafe venue QR code of the catering premises or register their information.
Q29: Is it necessary for patrons who dine in the outside seating accommodation (OSA) of catering premises to scan the LeaveHomeSafe venue QR code?
A29: OSA is part of the catering premises.  Hence, before entering the OSA, patrons have to use the LeaveHomeSafe mobile app or register their personal information and present the QR code of their local vaccination record pursuant to the relevant requirement.

For catering premises with approved OSA, operators are required to display a layout plan (A3 size) showing the areas of the indoor seating accommodation and the approved OSA for patrons’ easy reference to facilitate compliance with the relevant requirements.
Q30: What should a person do if the red code (i.e. no vaccination record) is shown when he/she uses the latest version of the LeaveHomeSafe to scan the venue QR code of the premises, even though he/she has the appropriate vaccination record in compliance with the Vaccine Pass requirements stored in the app?
A30:

If members of the public encounter such problem, they may press the “Leave” button in the “LeaveHomeSafe” mobile app, stay in the app for about 10 seconds, and then scan the venue QR code again.

Q31: For catering premises providing self-made forms for customers who cannot use the LeaveHomeSafe mobile app for registering their personal information, is hardcopy the only format allowed?  May online or electronic forms be used?
A31:

Catering premises may use the specified form downloaded from the COVID-19 thematic website and the FEHD’s Vaccine Pass thematic webpage or a self-made form containing the content in that standard form for a customer who cannot use the LeaveHomeSafe mobile app to register his/her name, contact number and the date and time of his/her visit.  The written or electronic record must be kept by the catering premises for 31 days, and be produced to law enforcement officers whenever required.  If it is an electronic form, it should be digitally signed by the person completing the form.  However, only three types of persons are allowed to use the alternative measure mentioned above:

  1. Persons aged 65 or above or persons aged 15 or below;
  2. Persons with disability; and
  3. Other persons recognised by the Government or organisations authorised by the Government as eligible for the arrangement.

Others

Q32: Under Cap. 599F and Cap. 599L, what posters/notices should be posted at catering premises?
A32: Operators of catering premises are required to display/post at the entrance of their premises:

  1. a poster containing the LeaveHomeSafe venue QR code of the catering premises;
  2. a notice applicable to premises subject to active checking of the Vaccine Pass;
  3. a notice on air change per hour or air purifier(s);
  4. a notice (A4 size) to remind customers that food or drink must not be consumed in areas adjacent to the catering premises during the hours when dine-in service is not allowed;
  5. a layout plan (A3 size) showing the areas of the indoor seating accommodation and the approved OSA (only applicable to catering premises with approved OSA); and
  6. a notice on the corresponding measures adopted for reducing the risk of transmission, which is posted during the applicable period of the measures (only applicable to catering premises adopting such measures).
Q33: Will both the operators and the customers of a catering premises be punished for non-compliance by the customers?
A33: Under Cap. 599F of the Laws of Hong Kong, non-compliance with certain social distancing measures in catering premises may involve provision of false statements by customers (e.g. provision of false information or production of the vaccination record of another person) and/or omission of due diligence check by operators of premises.  For the former, a person who furnishes false information will be criminally liable.  As for the latter, operators of premises are required under statute to perform due diligence checks.  Law enforcement officers will consider whether operators of premises have checked that customers have duly filled in all particulars and have used the QR Code Verification Scanner mobile app provided by the Government to verify the vaccination records of customers, etc.  Whether the information is a false statement will be judged by law enforcement officers.  If the person-in-charge of the specified premises could provide evidence to show that all reasonably practicable measures have been taken to comply with the relevant requirements, the person-in-charge needs not be overly concerned.
Q34: Do enforcement officers of the FEHD have the power to check the vaccination records of staff members or customers of catering premises?
A34:

According to section 12(1)(e) of Cap. 599F of the Laws of Hong Kong, an authorised officer may, for ascertaining whether any requirement or direction in relation to catering business or scheduled premises issued under Cap. 599F is being or has been complied with, require any person to provide information in the person’s possession which he/she considers necessary.  As the authorised officers referred to under Cap. 599F, the FEHD staff do have the power to require staff members or customers of catering premises to provide their vaccination records for inspection if deemed necessary.

A COVID-19 vaccination record refers to the following types of record, in paper or electronic form: (i) vaccination record issued under the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme organised by the Government; (ii) declaration record of non-local COVID-19 vaccination record issued at border control points or designated post offices; (iii) non-local vaccination record with declaration made by the person concerned upon entry to relevant premises; and (iv) recovery record QR code.

Under the Vaccine Pass arrangements, except for cases with exemption, all persons entering or remaining on any specified premises are required to carry an electronic version or a paper copy of their COVID-19 vaccination record or medical exemption certificate, and present it as required by law enforcement officers during spot checks or other enforcement actions.

Q35: What information has to be included in the medical certificate as a proof of being medically unfit for vaccination on health grounds?  Is there any validity period for the medical certificate?
A35: A template of the medical exemption certificate can be downloaded from the Government’s website “Together, We Fight the Virus!” (https://www.coronavirus.gov.hk/eng/cap599FG_forms.html). A person who is medically unfit for vaccination is required to obtain an exemption certificate printed with QR code issued by a doctor. With a view to standardising and aligning arrangements, the DH has produced a template for use by doctors.  Members of the public who are medically unfit for vaccination may consult a doctor to see if they are unfit for vaccination and obtain from the doctor a medical exemption certificate (this may involve a fee if private doctors are engaged).
Q36: Will catering premises be held legally liable for failing to comply with the requirement of ensuring that patrons have scanned the LeaveHomeSafe venue QR code with their mobile phones?
A36: If operators of catering premises breach the relevant requirements under Cap. 599F of the Laws of Hong Kong, they may be liable to prosecution, and upon conviction, to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months. In addition, catering premises must, on identification of the contravention by law enforcement officers, adopt corresponding measures to reduce the risk of transmission starting from the subsequent day by shortening the dine-in period to 3:00 p.m. for a period of 14 days.
Q37: In case customers use fraudulent LeaveHomeSafe mobile apps, will the operators of the deceived catering premises be penalised as well? What should they do to avoid being implicated and breaching the law inadvertently?
A37:

Pursuant to Cap. 599F of the Laws of Hong Kong, non-compliance with certain social distancing measures in catering premises may involve the provision of false statements by customers and the omission of due diligence check by operators of premises.

To protect themselves from being deceived by fraudulent LeaveHomeSafe mobile apps, catering premises operators may refer to “How may venue operators easily distinguish a genuine LeaveHomeSafe app from a fake one?” (No. 44 of the FAQs) on the LeaveHomeSafe website of the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (https://www.leavehomesafe.gov.hk/_files/docs/Verify_fake_app_e.pdf). 
Operators of catering premises should refuse entry of customers who use fraudulent LeaveHomeSafe mobile apps and attempt to enter the premises by dishonest means, if discovered.  They may refer such cases to the Police for follow-up actions.

During inspections to catering premises, frontline law enforcement officers of the FEHD or relevant departments will base their judgement on the investigation results and other relevant factors.  They will issue fixed penalty notices to the customers and/or summons to the operators of the premises concerned only if there is sufficient evidence.  It is difficult to generalise how to determine whether operators of premises have performed due diligence checks, as it depends on the actual circumstances of individual cases.  In fact, there is no need to worry on the part of the catering industry if all reasonably practicable measures have been taken to comply with the relevant requirements.

Q38: Is the operator of the catering premises responsible for verifying the exemption status of a person who claimed to be exempted from COVID-19 vaccination?
A38: If a person has an exemption certificate printed with QR code, the person-in-charge of the catering premises is required to scan the QR code displayed on it using the QR Code Verification Scanner mobile app provided by the Government and keep the record in the mobile device for 31 days. If there is no QR code on the medical exemption certificate, the customer is not permitted to dine-in in the catering premises3.